Today in History:

1863, June 28 - The Army of Northern Virginia Shortly before Gettysburg

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Hd. Qrs. 2nd Corps A.N.V. Carlisle Pa. June 28th 1863
My Darling Sara:

   I have just returned from our regular Sermon by Mr. Lacy to our quarters in the U.S. Barracks, at Carlisle, having heard a good sermon & been well rested by the good long sleep of last night, undisturbed by an order to march at dawn -- We reached here yesterday and took quiet possession of the place, quartering a portion of our forces at the U.S. Barracks, a lovely place, and a portion in the ample yard of Dickinson College -- The people here are not half as sullen as they are farther down the Valley, the German element not being as strong & the humanizing influences of schools &c have made a better population -- but we found them in quite a state of alarm, expecting us to burn pillage & destroy as they have done, but when the saw the conduct of our army they seemed surprised, We made requisition on the town forsupplies, medicines &c and obtained some $50000 of medicines & large supplies of provisions &c -- We are subsisting entirely on the country we are in and are constantly sending valuable stores to the rear -- The people here had time to send many things away and we do not find many things left to purchase -- I have not been able to find any shoes but will probably find some before long. I sent to Winchester a large bundle for you of Calico &c -- I do not know how many yards, but a good many -- I want you to save enough of some piece for William to have a dress for May and one for his child until I write , any how -- I intend to buy more for him if another opportunity offers, as he has the money & you can then use all I sent you as you see fit -- you may be able to trade some of it for other things you need, price being made equal to price -- You may make me two shirts from such as you prefer -- and I will buy myself some more if I can find them. I hope you will find the goods such as please you -- I had to select them in a hurry & had but little time to make choice -- if there are any other little things you may want let me know of it & I will try and get them for you in the course of our marches. Our success has been complete, no opposition, the enemy moving off as we advance -- & having only militia to oppose to us -- they are preparing to oppose us two miles to this side of Harrisburg -- but I do not know where we are going now -- but am quite sure the enemy is much alarmed -- The Gen. sent word to the clergy to have their services as usual, as no one would disturb them -- so some of the churches were open today, and the preachers, though nervous, prayed for their country in peril and their friends in danger -- they also prayed for the strangers that were among them, some of them prayed for peace -- We have had a very pleasant time so far, an abundance to eat, and in variety, our men getvegetables from the people -- onions especially, and they are very good for them.

    I am extremely anxiously to come home but the calls of country and duty forbid, but I hope we may soon end this, and rest at home in peace again --

    One of the preachers here prayed that God would bless those he was in the habit of praying for -- we told some of them we hoped they would meet & pray for Lincoln as he needed praying for -- The Lutheran preacher was very sensible -- the Pres. preacher prayed for the dear ones we had left at home -- I hope our success may continue as it has begun & the movement has been a very fine one, admirably conducted -- and eminently successful -- The weather here is very pleasant -- but we had quite a hard rain day before yesterday. We occupied a house night before last which the family had run away and left-we fared very well there and found many good things there -- our army likes this country very well -- and O what a relief it will be to our country to be rid of our army for some time, I hope we may keep away for some time and so relieve the calls for supplies that have been so long made so long upon our people. Good bye & may God bless & keep you all safely and may you be kept in health and abundance -- Write to me often and some of them will surely reach me. I will write to you as often as I can -- Kiss the children for me --

Your aff. husband
Jed. Hotchkiss

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